I’m going to just get right into this one:
130. Beautiful – Snoop Dogg
129. Seven Below – Phish
This song would’ve been much better if a producer was involved and about 3 minutes was trimmed off, of course, that could be send about most Phish songs.
128. Get Busy – Sean Paul
Sometimes you just have to have dance hall, even though it’s arguably the worst genre of music I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s better than death metal … and that’s probably about it.
127. Leif Erickson - Interpol
126. Don’t Let It Get You Down - Spoon
125. Guess I’m Doing Fine - Beck
124. The Rooster Moans – Iron & Wine
123. PDA – Interpol
122. Passion – Blackalicious
121. Back to the Life – Spoon
The thing about Kill the Moonlight is the songs are better together than they are separate.
120. Time for Heroes – The Libertines
119. Hot In Here – Nelly
Take off all your clothes. This song is too much fun to not include.
118. Danger, High Voltage – Electric Six
117. She Said, She Said – The Black Keys
I love them remaking this Beatles tune. No one really remakes the Beatles well, so this is quite a feat.
116. All the Pretty Girls Go to the City – Spoon
115. Silent Sigh – Badly Drawn Boy
114. Astronaut – Luna
113. Retirement Song – Medeski, Martin & Wood
112. The Seed – The Roots
111. Highly Evolved – The Vines
110. The New - Interpol
109. Another Morning Stoner – Trail of Dead
108. There Goes the Fear – Doves
107. My Dad’s Gone Crazy – Eminem
106. Make War – Bright Eyes
After getting past Coner’s douchebaggery, Bright Eyes do here what they do best, some good alt-country.
105. Spilled Milk Factory – Ugly Cassanova
104. Pot Kettle Black – Wilco
103. The Legionnaire’s Lament – The Decemberists
102. No, Not Now – Hot Hot Heat
101. Let’s Push Things Forward – The Streets
100. Six Days – DJ Shadow
99. Rex Kramer – Gomez
98. Money Becomes King – Tom Petty
97. A Cautionary Song – The Decemberists
This would qualify as their first sea shanty.
96. Busted – The Black Keys
Raw rock. Gotta love it. Sad I missed this in 2002.
95. Day One – Blackalicious
I’m not sure what the ‘Licious intended with this sweet rap album closing with an R&B tune, but whatever they were doing it worked.
94. Bird Stealing Bread – Iron & Wine
93. Are You a Hypnotist? – Flaming Lips
92. What Have You Done For Me Lately – Sharon Jones
Hearing a good old fashion funk artist that’s new and also happens to be covering a Janet Jackson song is pretty sweet.
91. Sky Is Falling – Blackalicious
This became a song associated with 9/11 mainly because it was most likely about 9/11. Weird huh?
90. The Irony of It All – The Streets
In this corner marijuana and in this corner alcohol, the battle for it all!
89. Jonah – Hackensaw Boys
It’s hard for me to rank their songs on the premise that they all sound exactly the same. That’s the problem with bluegrass being your only genre, it’s kinda like reggae in that way. This one is pretty good though.
88. Paragraph President – Blackalicious
87. Alive Again – Trey Anasatasio
86. Smilin’ Must Mean Something – Hackensaw Boys
This song has a very comfortable mellowness.
85. Obstacle 1 - Interpol
84. Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
83. Army Dub - Gomez
82. It’s Summertime – Flaming Lips
81. Already Dead – Beck
Beck’s mellow album has aged better than his Mellow Gold album.
80. Dream of You – The Coral
79. Uninvisible – Medeski, Martin & Wood
78. Merman – Max Tundra
I’ve known this song for about 10 years now, and to this day, I still don’t know if the copy I have is skipping, or that’s just how the song goes. I’ve always believed that’s just how it goes.
77. Made You Look – Nas
76. Black Rooster – The Kills
75. What a Waster – The Libertines
74. It’s Too Late – The Streets
73. Lost Cause – Beck
72. Soldier – Eminem
71. Gondra – Max Tundra
70. 4000 Miles – Blackalicious
My girlfriend just said this song sounds like Eminem which leads me to the expression wtf?
69. Cat Faces – Ugly Cassanova
68. Walls of the Cave – Phish
I’d love to rank this song higher because despite the fact that some parts are pretty cheesy, a lot of it is great. The main downside is Phish’s rush to put out an album before the bootlegs went around led to really shitty vocals. No other band but Phish would get away with vocals this shitty on an album.
67. Dy-Na-Mi-Tee – Ms. Dynamite
I never heard this song in 2002 and am complete unaware of its popularity, but it’s a lot of fun.
66. Stay Positive – The Streets
65. Ruff Stuff – Gomez
64. Baudelaire – Trail of Dead
63. Bandages – Hot Hot Heat
62. One More Robot – Flaming Lips
61. Sure Shot - Gomez
60. Lovedust – Luna
59. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell – Flaming Lips
58. Cobra – My Morning Jacket
This is a tough to rank. The version I have is over 20 minutes long (which now makes it the longest song I have on the list). It’s backed by a drum machine. Basically, I just need to find out where to cut it and it’s probably somewhere during the 13th minute.
57. First in Flight – Blackalcious
56. Waste of Paint – Bright Eyes
55. Monsoon – Trail of Dead
54. Do You Realize? – The Flaming Lips
This song makes me think of the advent of a new technology, most like because I can no longer remember what commercial it was used for. It was so strange hearing the Flaming Lips on TV all the time in the early aughts.
53. Chemical Calisthenics – Blackalicious
Sure it’s a pretty good gimmick, but I love speed and beats to this one.
52. Lose Yourself – Eminem
This is one of Em’s more overrated songs, but his “Eye of the Tiger-esque” rap song is a lot of fun, especially when you’re about to get into a rap battle.
51. It Was There That I Saw You – Trail of Dead
50. Hurt – Johnny Cash
Cash has had better covers, but this one was so big because he covered Trent Reznor which is weird. Weird trumps good often in today’s musical age.
49. The Golden Age – Beck
48. I’ll Be You’re Man – The Black Keys
47. Odalisque – The Decemberists
Even though maybe these guys would wind up doing better ProgRock a little later in their careers, it’s fun to hear them go for it all here.
46. Lion’s Mane – Iron & Wine
45. Poor Places – Wilco
Yankee … Hotel … Foxtrot
44. Smoke Like Ribbons – Ugly Cassanova
43. Paper Tiger – Beck
42. Something to Look Forward To - Spoon
41. Clocks – Coldplay
I’m not a Coldplay guy, but they’re probably better than, “I know you’re gay because you listen to Coldplay.” This is a good song at least aside from the whining.
40. Work It – Missy Elliott
Flip it and reverse it. Okay Missy, I try every time.
39. White America – Eminem
38. Barnacles – Ugly Cassanova
37. Too Much Brandy – The Streets
I’ve never been drunk on brandy. That means it probably will never happen now, in a manner similar to crack. I think I’ve past my prime crack years.
36. Push on Til the Day – Trey Anastasio
This is quintessentially the perfect hippy jam song. If you love funky grooves and crescendos, this song is impossible not to like.
35. War on War – Wilco
Here’s another song perfect for post 9/11 America that was written before the tragedy.
34. Release Parts 1 -3 – Blackalicious
I have to admit, I’m not only a sucker for the poetry in the middle of this epic, but they also reference King Kong Bundy, so yes, it’s a classic.
33. Naked in the City Again – Hot Hot Heat
This was a great song by a band that never got real popular.
32. Kamera – Wilco
If you’re scoring at home, Wilco goes 10 for 11 in my list with songs off Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
31. Geezers Need Excitement – The Streets
30. Labial – Max Tundra
I know very few have probably heard this song, putting it in contention for one of the least popular songs that I rank very highly, but this expands sound as well as anything Radiohead has ever done.
29. July! July! – The Decemberists
The Decemberists are almost like what would’ve happened if Neutral Milk Hotel never ended. Almost.
28. Aural Pleasure – Blackalicious
27. In the Morning of Magicians – Flaming Lips
26. Turn the Page – The Streets
I forgot how good this album is. If you haven’t heard this one, or haven’t heard it in awhile, it’s probably time to turn it back on.
25. Ashes of American Flags – Wilco
24. Things I Don’t Remember – Ugly Cassanova
I listened to this recently while high and all of a sudden thought this song may have been about Isaac forgetting about parents or maybe an Uncle, or hell, maybe even Sandusky (sorry, couldn’t resist that flavor of the month of child molestation villainy) that was doing bad things to him and this was about him forgetting them, rather than him just getting drunk and not being able to remember the night before. Big difference. Marijuana is bad.
23. Faded From the Winter – Iron & Wine
This is the coldest camp fire song I’ve ever heard in my life.
22. I’m the Man Who Loves You - Wilco
21. Blazing Arrow – Blackalicious
This song just makes we want to turn the pool party up a notch by doing a cannonball.
20. Losing My Edge – LCD Soundsystem
Even though James Murphy seems to be mocking himself a little, this is still the most pretentious song I’ve ever heard. Great tune though.
19. No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age
I once tried to learn this song on guitar, and it’s probably no harder than any Extreme song, but I didn’t have the patience. I’ve become such a strummer, I can’t learn great rock songs anymore. Playing “Be My Baby” on the other hand is a blast. Or …
18. Heavy Metal Drummer – Wilco
Playing Kiss covers, beautiful and stoned.
17. Detroit Swing 66 – Gomez
I don’t really understand where these guys came from or who they are, but I do know I would have no clue if it wasn’t for Dilly G. Fun band.
16. Bring the Pain – Missy Elliott
Being a hip hop amateur, I didn’t know this was a cover, or is it? I don’t understand hip hop. Timbaland samples the same beat from Method Man’s original and the song has the same name, but in some divexing strange hip hop world, it’s not a cover. Either way, I love Missy’s “version” almost as much as her predecessors.
15. Relative Ways – Trail of Dead
Pitchforkmedia gave this album a perfect 10 back in 2002, and though it’s far from a perfect landmark album, it has some great moments, as you see they’ve placed five times on my list.
14. Small Stakes – Spoon
This is one of those songs that starts out an album so well that the rest of the album is probably a bit overrated. I feel like I’m about to listen to a concept album, but I’m not sure if it is. It helps that it’s also followed by “The Way We Get By.” Ah, the songs that made me love Spoon 10 years ago.
13. Radio Cure – Wilco
Wilco sort of dominated 2002 due to the Foxtrot.
12. Hotcha Girls – Ugly Cassanova
I’m not sure what happened to the Mouse after The Moon and Antarctica but this “solo” album Isaac dropped is quite underrated. It’s nearly immaculate, minus some parasites here and there.
11. Yoshiimi Battles the Pink Robots – Flaming Lips
This is such a fun song. It’s not so great to see it live, but the recording is a blast. It’s also one of those great for acoustic guitar songs of which the Flaming Lips really don’t have.
10. Make You Feel that Way – Blackalicious
This sounds like a golden age of hip hop song. Chill. It’s like gangsta rap never happened. Oh, how one could dream.
9. Untitled – Interpol
The band that surprises you sometimes by coming around can’t title one of their best songs. Ugh.
8. Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott
Here’s my pinnacle of Missy “Misdemeanor (very dumb rap name unfortunately)” lovin. This was one of those songs s so good that you had to learn the dance to, whereas a song like “Soldier Boy” is so crappy, there’s no reason to learn the dance … and no, I don’t dance. I guess I’m talking about mock dancing.
7. Lonesome Tears – Beck
This is Beck’s biggest home run of his pure mellow album. Even when I’m happy, this lonesome ballad makes me happier, but obviously in a sullen way.
6. Fight Test – Flaming Lips
It was great to see the Lips get popular in 2002 after more than a decade of existing. They really didn’t have to sell out their sound either which is a double plus.
5. NYC – Interpol
I finally felt like adding this to the guitar playin’ repertoire this year and well, it had bad idea jeans all over it. Aside from its general melancholy, this song needs its sound effects.
4. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart – Wilco
You can generally tell if an album is classic by how great the first song is. Yes, there are many albums with great first songs that aren’t classics, but if that first song fails to get you excited for the rest of the album, it’s not a classic. This gets me quite excited for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on par with the heartbeats that start out Dark Side, Trey’s “Rift” riff, and hearing about all the girls from around the world on Paul’s Boutique.
3. The Way We Get By – Spoon
I love this song so much I had to learn it on guitar, even though it’s piano song. After this album, I heard the dude who played piano quit to tour with Michele Branch and thought Spoon would never be the same. Fortunately, they didn’t miss a beat, but they’ll probably never have a piano driven song this good again.
2. Jesus etc – Wilco
This became a 9/11 anthem with the tall buildings shaking, voicing escaping, singing sad, sad songs line that was written well before the tragedy. This could be Tweedy’s greatest moment of beauty lyrically.
1. Without Me – Eminem
Ranking this the best song of 2002, especially up against such great acts like Wilco and Spoon seems like I’m making a mistake. In 2002, this is the song that made me switch sides on Eminem. If there was ever one riff I played “the most” on bass during Toast shows, it had to be this one. That’s gotta count for something, not to mention how much fun the lyrics are and man, just how groovy this song is.